Saskatchewan

Province, feds, RMs to spend at least $63M to replace 100 rural Sask. bridges

Rural Saskatchewan could see as many as 100 old bridges replaced in the next few years, the province announced Thursday.

Sask. RMs association estimates there are 1,475 bridges in rural areas, many more than 50 years old

SARM says there are some 1,475 rural bridges in the province and many of them were built in the 1960s and '70s. (Google Street View)

Rural Saskatchewan could see as many as 100 old bridges replaced in the next few years, the province announced Thursday.

With the province, Ottawa and rural municipalities each paying a share, more than $63 million will be spent in the next four years to replace the aging bridges that span waterways and ditches.

The Saskatchewan Party government is touting the economic benefits, saying there will be many construction jobs. It also says new bridges will help people get food, fuel, fertilizer and manufactured goods to market. 

The 100 bridges may only be the beginning. The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities estimates there are 1,475 bridges in rural areas, and many of them were built more than 50 years ago.

Construction on the first batch of replacement bridges could start as soon as this summer. 

Bridges under the spotlight

The state of rural bridges has been under the spotlight in recent years, and not just the older ones.

In 2018, a newly built bridge over the Swan River in the RM of Clayton collapsed just hours after being opened to the public.

That led the government to put weight restrictions on several other rural bridges that had a similar design.

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